AP Top News at 2:08 p.m. EDT

Soccer officials arrested in Zurich; World Cup votes probed
ZURICH (AP) - Swiss prosecutors opened criminal proceedings into FIFA on Wednesday, only hours after seven soccer officials were arrested and threatened with extradition to the U.S. in an investigation of what was called "rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted" corruption. FIFA, meanwhile, said Friday's presidential election would go ahead as planned with Sepp Blatter going for a fifth term. Blatter was not named in either investigation.


THE LATEST: UEFA urges FIFA to postpone presidential vote
ZURICH (AP) - The Latest on FIFA developments: ---


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The Latest on IS: Detainees killed at theater in Syria ruins
6:45 p.m. (1545 GMT) Syrian activists say Islamic State group militants have shot dead a group of detainees in the Roman theater in ancient ruins of Palmyra.


Death toll climbs to 19 from storms in Texas and Oklahoma
WIMBERLEY, Texas (AP) - The death toll from a barrage of storms and floods in Texas and Oklahoma climbed to 19 on Wednesday, with over a dozen people missing, and another round of rain threatened to complicate the cleanup in hard-hit Houston. The forecast was for 2 to 3 more inches of rain in the Houston area, a day after flooding triggered by nearly a foot of rain in a matter of hours swamped neighborhoods and highways and stranded hundreds of motorists.


Health law court case winner could be political loser
WASHINGTON (AP) - The party that wins the impending Supreme Court decision on President Barack Obama's health care law could be the political loser. If the Republican-backed challenge to the law's subsidies for lower-earning Americans prevails, the GOP would have achieved a paramount goal of severely damaging "Obamacare." But Republican lawmakers would be pressured to help the millions of Americans who could suddenly find government-mandated medical coverage unaffordable - and they'd face blame from many voters if they failed to provide assistance.


Guantanamo inmates swapped for Bergdahl could move freely
WASHINGTON (AP) - Five senior Taliban leaders released last year from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl could move freely around the world next week as their one-year travel ban expires. The five detainees were sent to Qatar where government officials agreed to monitor their activities and prevent them from traveling out of the country under the terms of the May 2014 exchange. Bergdahl, who had been held captive by the Taliban for nearly five years after walking away from his Army post in Afghanistan, was released to the U.S. military.


Rick Santorum launching second White House run
WASHINGTON (AP) - Rick Santorum, an aggressive advocate for conservative family values, will launch a second bid for president on Wednesday, a spokesman said. The former Pennsylvania senator exceeded the political world's expectations by scoring a second-place finish in the race for the Republican presidential nomination four years ago. Yet as he competes again, he may struggle even to qualify for the debate stage in 2016.


Fleeing poverty, Bangladeshis caught in Asian boat crisis
UKHIYA, Bangladesh (AP) - The traffickers spun stories that were unimaginable to their listeners, many who hailed from tiny Bangladeshi villages where almost no one earns more than a few dollars a day. First, there would be the boat: A huge boat where people could spread out comfortably, where the food would be plentiful and delicious. They would be treated with decency while on board and at the end of a week or so they would be quietly dropped off in Malaysia and given high-paying jobs.


Lawyer: Confinement of chimps for research akin to slavery
NEW YORK (AP) - A lawyer seeking to free two chimpanzees from a state university told a judge Wednesday that their confinement for research purposes is akin to slavery, the involuntary detention of mentally ill people and imprisonment. Steven Wise, an attorney with the Nonhuman Rights Project, told Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Barbara Jaffe in a nearly two-hour hearing that Hercules and Leo are "autonomous and self-determining beings" who should be granted a writ of habeas corpus and be moved from Stony Brook University on Long Island to a sanctuary in Florida.




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